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July 18 , 2010

Second XI

Cricket in its Outposts


As the world's second most popular sport, cricket is much richer and more diverse than many realise. Globally, passionate players give up holidays, time with loved ones and hard-earned money to achieve the extraordinary and play for their country. Afghanistan, whose captain grew up on a refugee camp, will play in the 2015 World Cup not just in spite of the Taliban but partly because of them. In Ireland, cricket has reawakened after a century of dormancy - but can they achieve their aim of Test cricket and end the player drain to England? These tales resonate far beyond cricket, touching on war, sectarianism and even women's rights. This book explains why an Emirati faced Allan Donald armed only with a sunhat; whether cricket will succeed in China and America; what happened when Kenya reached the World Cup semi-finals, and how cricket in the Netherlands almost collapsed after two bad days.

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